Folding Glow-In-The-Dark Cargo E-Bike

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As I’ve pointed out before, folding e-bikes are a bit of a compromise, but the level of compromise varies.

The tiniest of e-bikes are more like a scooter with pedals, with barely the capacity for one rider and maybe some of their stuff (in a backpack). The small wheels don’t do your stability any favors, and the small controls and seating can make things awkward and uncomfortable. But all of that compromise in bike mode greatly benefits the bike in carry mode, allowing it to fit almost anywhere. So, for some people and situations, it’s the optimal choice.

On the other end, you have folding bikes that don’t become very compact or light when folded. These are great for storage, but aren’t great for trying to take along on transit or otherwise carry along in tight spaces. But, the riding experience for these is a lot nicer than the tiniest folding bikes, so for many riders, it’s the best choice.

Last month, ebiketips shared an article showing us that this trade-off isn’t guaranteed to be the compromise we expect, though. Calendar Bikes’ Longtail Max challenges our assumptions about how much capability a smaller folding e-bike can deliver, and proves that sometimes you can have your cake and maybe eat some of it, too.

When folded out, the Longtail Max is a fairly normal cargo bike. It’s got 20″ x 4″ fat tires, which not only gives you great comfort on the road, but traction and stability for trails and paths. It also has decent power, good space and comfort for the rider, and room for either luggage or 1-2 kids (depending on their age). If you get off a train, bus, or plane and have this with you, your need for a rental car or transit is greatly reduced at the destination, especially when the destination is a city. But, it’s got the chops for rural areas, too. Take two, and you could carry a whole family.

Normally, a folding cargo bike with all of these capabilities would be very unwieldy when folded up, but Calendar found a great workaround: adding some rollerblade wheels onto the cargo rack. This allows the folded bike to be as easy as a rolling suitcase to move around and keeps the running gear, tires, and other things out of the way. Not all transit or air travel systems would allow you to take this along in the cabin/car with you, but it could probably be checked in as luggage with its squarish shape folded up.

All of this would be compelling enough, but Calendar decided to do one more cool thing with this model: they made it glow in the dark. This is just plain cool for all of our inner children (plus the “outer” children for those of us who are parents), but also increases our safety and visibility when using these things for serious city transportation and sightseeing.

This bike isn’t the best solution for all of us, but for those of us who need an easy to carry but capable bike, this is a very compelling answer.

Featured image and all other photos by Calendar Bikes.

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Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

Jennifer Sensiba has 1955 posts and counting. See all posts by Jennifer Sensiba